by Danny Siegel
It's so stupid,
soaked in the idiotica of errands
and all those "things to do"
that steal a man's minutes, his years --
I forgot the Queen.
Her Majesty was due at four-eighteen
on Friday, not a minute later,
and I was wasting hands, words, steps,
racing to a rushing finish-line
of roaring insignificance
I just as well could fill
with preparations for the royal entourage:
cleaning and cleansing each act's doing,
each word's saying,
in anticipation of the Great Event of Shabbas.
to spend the day with me?
I dry out my strengths, cook, move dust,
casually insensitive to all the songs
reminding me that she, the Queen,
in diamond-ruby-emerald-glow tiara,
would come to grace my table.
no matter how the week was spent,
in joy or in silliness,
yet she comes.
And I am her host,
laying a linen flower tablecloth
that is white,
that is all the colors of the rainbow.
This is the Jews' sense of royalty:
she never does not spend one day a week
with me, and every Jew,
in the open air of freedom,
or lightening the misery of prisoners
in stinking Russian prisons
or the ghettoes of Damascus.
Come, my Shabbas Queen,
embodiment of Worlds-to-Be:
Your gracious kindness is our breath of life,
and though we once, twice, all-too-often
fail to say, "how beautiful your cape!
How lovely your hair, your Shechina-eyes!"
we will not always be so lax,
apathetic to your grace, your presence.
Touch us again this week
with your most unique love's tenderness,
and we shall sing to you our songs,
dance our dances in your honor,
and sigh for you our sighs
of longing, peace, and hope.